Fakenham businesses share hopes for town in 2022

Fay Dewing (left) and Venetia Strangwayes-Booth (right) are sharing their hopes for their Fakenham businesses in 2022.

Fay Dewing (left) and Venetia Strangwayes-Booth (right) are sharing their hopes for their Fakenham businesses in 2022. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Aaron McMillan

Traders in Fakenham have been through a lot over the past two years.

Historic shops have said goodbye to the high street, while others battled on and adapted to whatever was thrown their way. 

Some brave businesspeople even took the plunge by opening their own stores for the first time. 

With Plan B coronavirus restrictions having ended on Wednesday (January 26), shops in Fakenham have revealed their feelings at the start of a new year. 

Fay Dewing took over the town's sweet shop, Sweets n Things, just seven weeks before the pandemic began.

She already had an established presence in the Market Place with her second venture, which saw her carrying out clothes and school uniform repairs at the back of the store. 

But Mrs Dewing transformed the site into a classic 1950s sweet shop, and even had a grand reopening just three weeks before the nation was plunged into the first lockdown.

Old-fashioned style jars of sweet favourites at Sew Sweet in Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Old-fashioned style jars of sweet favourites at Sew Sweet in Fakenham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

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Having survived the pandemic and maintained her clothing repair work, she hopes to see the town centre become a little more lively over the next 12 months. 

“Fakenham is a little quiet,” said Mrs Dewing, who renamed the shop 'Sew Sweet'. 

“I know I’m tucked away in the corner, but it would just be nice to get a bit more lively. We have some nice shops.

"Some days, you don’t see anyone in the marketplace which is quite sad."

Owner of Venetia’s Yarn Shop on Norwich Street in Fakenham, Venetia Strangwayes-Booth.

Owner of Venetia’s Yarn Shop on Norwich Street in Fakenham, Venetia Strangwayes-Booth. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Venetia Strangwayes-Booth, who ran a coffee shop in London before becoming an antenatal teacher, only began trading at Venetia’s Yarn Shop eight weeks ago.

She has been bowled over by the support of locals, despite opening just days before new Covid restrictions were introduced. 

And Ms Strangwayes-Booth believes there is an optimistic mood in the town.

“Fakenham feels quite positive,” she said.

Venetia’s Yarn Shop on Norwich Street in Fakenham, stocks local produces Norfolk wools. 

Venetia’s Yarn Shop on Norwich Street in Fakenham stocks local produces Norfolk wools. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

“I'm a big fan of independent shops and I like that there's quite a lot here. If you're a tourist and you go to town, and it's got all the same shops that you have in your hometown, you are not going to hang out there.

“The indie shops are what bring people in, and Fakenham is a lovely little town.”